Flying Saucers And Men From Mars! – Little Known UFO And Alien Encounters From The 1950s

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
November 15, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
27 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

Following the start of the Modern UFO Era in the light 1940s, UFO sightings exploded around the world during the following decade of the 1950s. And while some of these sightings received huge amounts of publicity at the time and are well-remembered today, there were many others that went undetected, only showing up in little-publicized reports years, sometimes decades later.

As we will examine here, many of these sightings share remarkably similar details, perhaps suggesting that whatever intelligence was behind these curious craft their presence was seemingly global and prolonged. Were these sightings the result of some kind of alien reconnaissance mission? And if so, what was the reason for these missions? Were representatives from this apparent alien race simply studying us for scientific reasons, or might they have been sizing us up for a potential attack?

Or might we consider that these craft were the result of human invention right here on Earth, either from scratch or as the result of recovered alien technology following the many alleged crashes reported at the end of the 1940s? And if this was the case and these sightings around the world were test flights for this new and advanced technology, why were these speculative tests undertaken in such public spaces? Indeed, there are more sightings, and, in turn, more questions, during this period at the start of the Modern UFO Era than many of us might think.

Double Sighting Encounter Of March 20th In New York And Arkansas

Perhaps a great place to start is with a pair of sightings that occurred on the evening of March 20th 1950 in New York and Arkansas respectively. And the first of these resulted in an intriguing photograph. According to the report, which was seemingly classified for some time in the Project Blue Book files (then Project Grudge), an anonymous New York resident managed to capture a picture of a cylindrical object as it passed quickly overhead. [1]

Although the apparent official explanation was that the object was nothing more than “the moon”, many UFO researchers who later examined the case suggested that what was photographed could have been some kind of “mothership” that likely had numerous smaller, possibly disc-shaped craft inside. You can see that picture below and make up your own mind.

Later that same evening (although some sources offer that the incident took place on the evening of March 31st), in Stuttgart in Arkansas just before 9:30 pm, Captain Jack Adams was piloting a Chicago and Southern Airlines DC-3 airplane from Memphis to Little Rock when their flight took an unexpected turn. [2]

They were around 40 miles from their destination when Adams and his co-pilot, G.W. Anderson, witnessed a glowing object moving with great speed across the sky ahead of them. [3] And what’s more, the object was seemingly moving toward their aircraft.

They later estimated that it was around 1000 feet above them and was moving at an approximate speed of around 1000 miles per hour. It eventually passed directly in front of their aircraft, remaining visible for around 30 seconds before disappearing from sight.

Anderson would later state that the object, which appeared to be circular in shape, had “no navigation lights” and appeared to move “in an arc”. Despite there being no navigation lights, both witnesses could see what appeared to be “10 lighted windows or ports” on the underside which glowed a soft purple color. They would further estimate that the seemingly otherworldly craft was around 100 feet in diameter, and on the top of it, in the center, was a blinding flashing light that flashed approximately every three seconds and was so bright that both of the witnesses had to look away from it.

Although neither witness was sure what the object was, they knew that it was “not a shooting star or a comet” and that it was something out of the ordinary.

The Flight 125 Incident – Near Miss Over The Atlantic

The following year, on February 10th 1951, another midair UFO incident unfolded. [4] According to the report, co-pilot US Naval Reserve Lieutenant Graham Bethune was in the pilot’s seat of Flight 125 which was over the Atlantic Ocean traveling from Keflavik in Iceland to Gander, Newfoundland when he noticed a “glow of light” ahead of him approximately 1000 to 1500 feet above the water.

The captain, Al Jones, had also seen the glow, which they soon realized was a huge, solid round, or disc-shaped object at least 300 feet across. They both watched the aerial anomaly for around five minutes before eventually alerting other members of the crew to its presence. Then, suddenly, it changed its direction and appeared to be heading straight for them. They would later state that the strange craft was moving at a speed of around 1000 miles per hour. In fact, it was moving so fast that both Bethune and the captain believed the object was about to collide with them.

When it was around five miles from them it changed position once more, changing color to a bright orange as it did so. What is interesting about this is that the radar data also picked up the object, and corroborated the closeness with which it came to the plane.

The object then increased its speed even more to somewhere around an unbelievable 3000 miles per hour, eventually disappearing into the distance.

Bethune would speak of the incident almost half a century later in 2001 at the Disclosure Project Press Conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC. He would recall that the object reached its altitude of around 10,000 feet in an instant and that those on board who could see its approach were also convinced that there was going to be a collision, so much so that they all ducked to the floor, bumping into each other as they did so.

He also offered that he offered to Captain Jones that they should keep the event to themselves. However, in the moments while Bethune was checking on the passengers Jones had already contacted ground control in Newfoundland to report the encounter. Upon arriving at their destination, they were debriefed by members of the US Navy. Bethune recalled that it was obvious to them by the demeanor of the officers that they were perfectly familiar with such events and that they had likely witnessed many such incidents previously.

Multiple Groups Of Objects Witnessed From A Drive-In Movie Theatre

Just over a year later on the evening of April 20th 1952 in Flint, Michigan, multiple people witnessed several unknown objects traveling overhead while at a drive-in movie. [5]

The main witness, a naval aviation student, along with his wife and several friends, witnessed multiple “groups” of objects moving overhead between 9:15 pm and 10:40 pm on the night in question, with the witness recalling there were at least 20 separate sightings in total.

The witness recalled that, for the most part, the objects moved in almost perfectly straight lines, although some groups performed turns in the air. Furthermore, although they were a similar size and shape to conventional aircraft, they each had a bizarre “red glow” that surrounded or encased them, while the objects themselves also appeared to glow.

Each of the separate groups remained visible for only five or six seconds before disappearing from sight, with each set of strange craft moving at a considerable speed – approximately 1000 miles per hour – with their altitudes varying from around 10,000 to 30,000 feet.

The HMCS Iroquois Encounter

Another relatively little-known encounter unfolded in May 1952 on board the HMCS Iroquois, a Canadian Naval Destroyer that was traveling from Pearl Harbor to Guam in Korea at the start of the Korean War. [6] According to the report by Gavin McLeod (who received a letter from the witness – Commander George R. MacFarlane – who was a Lieutenant at the time of the sighting), the Iroquois left the port at Pearl Harbor at around 6 pm on the day in question and was headed west. MacFarlane was the Officer of the watch on the bridge, taking over duty around six hours after leaving at around midnight.

He would state in his letter that the journey began with nothing untoward having happened. It was a warm night but there was a thin layer of mist overhead – so much so that the stars were not visible. It was around an hour after MacFarlane had taken over the watch – at around 1 am – when he noticed a “single white light on the port bow”. He stated that this glowing light was around “30 degrees elevation at a visual estimated range of about a mile”. He continued that the mysterious light “moved from right to left at a rapid rate” and that it had “a halo around it due to the mist”.

To begin with, he believed he was looking at a low-flying aircraft. However, given that they were approximately 100 miles out to sea at this point, he thought it rather unusual that such a low-flying craft would be this far out from land. When he checked the operational schedule, he discovered that there were no military aircraft listed in the area, and he began to suspect that he was looking at something a little more out of the ordinary.

He continued to watch the strange glowing object, unable to confirm its position on the air defense radar due to it being out of service due to routine maintenance at the time. When he checked the navigational radar, however, he discovered that it didn’t appear there either, leading him to concentrate his focus even more. When a second light appeared from the same direction, “passing at high speed”, he was suddenly at full alert. The night of strange events, though, was only just beginning.

Multiple Lights In Formation Appearing In The Sky

By 2 am – an hour after the first light appeared – several further strange lights appeared at a relatively low altitude in the sky, which was now completely free of mist and almost clear. He recalled that most of these lights were “in formation” and that all appeared on the port side of the ship (which was toward the south).

MacFarlane elaborated that these lights appeared in “groups of three”, although some were in groups of five or six. Furthermore, “they appeared and disappeared instantly; at the same speed a computer screen operates”.

At this point, he turned his attention to the signalman who was on watch with him, asking if he had witnessed them also, which he had. They continued to watch them for some time, noting that at one point there was around 30 of these strange light overhead at once. Although neither of the men knew what the objects were, both agreed that what they were seeing was “very strange”. Then, things turned even stranger.

An Encounter That Left Him “Quite Disturbed!”

Suddenly, one of the lights “appeared at close range” at a particularly low altitude and much closer to the ship, once more on the port side. They could now see that the light was, in fact, a disc-shaped object. In his letter, MacFarlane further described the object as having an extremely bright light “with black windows running around the whole side” that was visible to them.

The object maintained the same position from the ship for around 15 minutes allowing MacFarlane to view the craft through his binoculars. He tried to see if he could see anything through the windows, of which there were around two dozen, but he was unable to see any details. He recalled that there were around two dozen of these windows, each of which was completely black, close together, and evenly spaced.

Then, without warning, the object suddenly disappeared. Throughout the 15 minutes that it was visible, the object remained completely silent, with no engine sounds or other means of propulsion being evident.

Other lights remained visible in the distance for around three-quarters of an hour before they too disappeared. By 3 am, the sky was completely empty once more.

By this point, it suddenly occurred to MacFarlane that he had not reported the events to his superiors, despite the completely surreal nature of the events, something that he stated was “so unlike” his usual practice. Ultimately, the entire episode had left him “quite disturbed”. He elaborated in his letter that during this time there were many reports of sightings of “flying saucers”, the vast majority of which were not taken seriously, and given his position and rank in the navy, he “didn’t want to be included with that group”. He knew, though, that he had to enter something in the hip’s logbook.

He decided to record that he had witnessed “many meteorites” during his watch, and at 4 am he finished his watch and handed off to Lieutenant Doug Tutte. He declined to mention the sighting to him, and Tutte didn’t read the logbook until his own shift ended at 8 am.

Under Some Kind Of “Mental Control!”

Shortly after Tutte finished his watch, he spoke with MacFarlane at breakfast. He asked him why he had not mentioned the meteorites he had witnessed to him, asking him to elaborate further on what they looked like. MacFarlane offered a basic description, to which, Tutte eventually revealed that he too had seen strange lights during his watch.

The two men discussed their respective experiences of the previous evening at length, with Tutte eventually admitting that he too had declined to inform the captain of what he had seen. Furthermore, like MacFarlane, he too wrote in the logbook that he had seen several meteorites during his shift, although he knew that what he had seen was something more otherworldly.

Both of the men were at a loss as to just why they had acted as they had in the aftermath of their respective sightings. Each contemplated whether they had been under some kind of “hypnotic control from the objects” during the encounter, although each also admitted to each other that they didn’t relish the prospect of being the subject of ridicule by the captain and the rest of the crew. Because of this, both agreed to keep the sightings between themselves, agreeing that whatever they had seen, the events were “very weird”.

Funny Lights” Of Which There Is “No Proof!”

Following the encounter, the two men would speak to other lookouts who had been on duty that evening, gently enquiring why they had not reported the strange lights, to which they replied that they had not done so because “they were neither ships nor aircraft”.

Both MacFarlane and Tutte agreed to keep the events of that night in May 1952 to themselves following this, not least as they were about to enter the Korean War.

In his letter, MacFarlane offered that he could not remember the names of the lookouts on duty that evening, and of more importance, Tutte had long since passed away, meaning that he could offer no proof of what he had seen that evening, other than the logbook, which was now in the National Archives which had the “meteorite sighting” recorded in it.

Ultimately, MacFarlane wouldn’t report the sighing in his letter to McLeod until the summer of 1998, almost 50 years after the incident occurred, offering that he felt that the encounter had to be recorded and that he felt a sense of guilt at having kept the encounter to himself for so long. Furthermore, he offered that he was now “old enough not to worry about being ridiculed”.

Incidentally, he also offered that he believed the objects had acted in a “ non-threatening manner”, and that he assumed their presence was “inquisitive” as much as anything else. Just what was behind the bizarre display remains a complete mystery. As we know, however, this incident was just one of many to unfold during the opening years of the second half of the twentieth century.

The Puerto Maldonado Photograph Encounter

Only several months later, at around 4:30 pm on the afternoon of July 19th 1952 in Puerto Maldonado in Peru, another intriguing UFO sighting unfolded – and this one resulted in photographic evidence. [7] According to the report, at the Peruvian Customs Office near the jungle border with Bolivia, Customs Inspector, Domingo Troncoso noticed a “very strange cigar-shaped flying object” moving at a low altitude over a nearby river.

Troncoso would describe the object as “passing from right to left from the observer’s position” and leaving a trail of thick vapor or smoke behind it as it did so. Troncoso estimated that the object was approximately 100 feet in length and was clearly a physical nuts and bolts craft.

Reacting quickly Troncoso reached for his camera and managed to snap a picture of the craft (which you can see below) before it sped off into the distance.

As can be seen in the photograph, the reflection of the object is visible in the waters below, once more suggesting that it is a definite physical object as opposed to some kind of visual anomaly. Furthermore, as time went on, it became clear that Troncoso was not the only person to have witnessed the strange craft.

According to a report in the Lima Daily newspaper, around 2 minutes after Troncoso’s sighting, at around 4:50 pm, a schoolteacher witnessed what is almost certainly the same object moving across the sky at great speed with smoke “spewing” from it.

The article stated that the “color of the head or nucleus” of the object was an “intense orange” and it was moving to the north out of the south. While the object itself was only visible for no longer than two minutes, the trail of smoke remained overhead for almost a quarter of an hour. The witness estimated that the object was moving at an altitude of between 2500 to 3000 feet and remained on a straight and purposeful course.

Interestingly, at the same time, as the craft was passing overhead, the Peruvian Corporation of the Amazon radio cut out and remained dead until the craft disappeared.

Multiple Other Witnesses

Several years later in the summer of 1957, a gentleman named Mr. Mosely submitted a report on the incident to NICAP. He would state that he had met an agricultural engineer named Pedro Bardi, who claimed to have also witnessed the object along with several other people at a farm in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, including the farm’s owner, Pedro Arellano.

He claimed that they were talking on the radio when it suddenly cut out. Intrigued as to what the problem might be, the witnesses looked out of the window and were shocked to see a saucer-shaped object moving across the sky at a high rate of speed.

They estimated it was at an altitude of barely 100 meters and was approximately the size of a DC-3 aircraft. Also of interest was the fact that the witnesses recalled hearing a “buzzing sound” as it passed overhead.

What would appear to be the same object was witnessed barely four minutes later by Troncoso in Porto Maldonado, which was around 120 km away. This sighting allowed the witnesses to calculate that the craft was moving at a speed of around 1100 miles per hour.

Ultimately, although the sighting remains unexplained, Mosely suggested that the photograph was very likely genuine and that there was no sign that the picture had been tampered with or faked. Also of interest, when the smoke trail fell to the ground, it appeared to settle in “a mass of thin fibrous threads”, which we might suspect is a description of “angel hair”, something that has been associated with UFO sightings around the world on numerous occasions.

The John Bean UFO Encounter

According to a report submitted to NICAP, on the afternoon of January 27th 1953, an experienced aviator, John Bean, was driving near Livermore, California after having visited the Purchasing Office of the Atlantic Energy Commission Research Facility when he made the decision to pull his vehicle to the side of the road in order to quickly double-check some paperwork that was in his briefcase that was on the backseat. [8]

After bringing the vehicle to a stop, he stepped from the car and opened the back door in order to retrieve the papers from the briefcase. After doing so he went to return to the front seat when he heard the sound of an airplane overhead. When he turned his attention skyward, he could see a DC-6 aircraft at an approximate altitude of 2500 feet that appeared to be preparing to land at Oakland Municipal Airport.

Due to the afternoon sun, Bean had his hand cupped over his eyes in order to see the aircraft clearly. He was just about to remove his hand and get back in the car when he noticed a “small, whitish object” that was headed south. To begin with, he thought the object was nothing more than “some sort of plant fiber that was floating in the air”. Then, however, he had the sudden realization that they were in the middle of winter, meaning this explanation was highly unlikely. When he realized the mysterious object was moving away from him at a fast rate of speed, he became aware that he was witnessing something a little more out of the ordinary.

A ”Perfectly Round Object” With A “Metallic Sheen” To It

The more he studied the object, the more he began to make out specific details. He recalled, for example, that it was “perfectly round” and had a “metallic sheen” to it, something he further described as being “similar to that of aluminum with a satin finish” (or brushed aluminum). Bean would further elaborate that the object didn’t reflect the sun as you might expect an aluminum surface to do, adding it was “more diffused and whitish in color”.

After taking a moment to gather his thoughts he began to follow the object as it moved across the sky. Almost immediately, the object began to change direction, making a “steep turn” to the right while also climbing at a “terrific rate of ascent”, adding that the speed of the object made the speed of a fighter jet “insignificant” by comparison. In fact, the speed of the object was such that within three seconds of beginning its climb, it had disappeared from view.

At the same time the object disappeared a fighter jet appeared in the same place as the object had been before it began its ascent. Bean offered that had the object not ascended when it had done the jet would have been on an almost certain collision course with it. This is an interesting detail that shows up in other UFO incidents, with the object disappearing right before an aircraft arrives, almost in anticipation of its arrival and taking action to avoid a collision. This suggests an awareness of other aircraft around them, as well as their need to avoid them. Bean himself offered in his report that it occurred to him that the object, or at least the intelligence behind it could very well have “taken evasive action”.

Bean also pointed out that while the conventional aircraft left distinct vapor trails, the disc-shaped object left none, meaning that the propulsion system it was using was far more advanced than a conventional aircraft of the time. He also noted that the mysterious object made no sound whatsoever, once more suggesting some kind of advanced propulsion system.

In total, the object was in sight for no longer than 10 seconds, and remains a complete mystery as to just what it might have been. The sighting, though, was typical of other sightings of the era.

Flaming Object Witnessed Over Newburyport, Massachusetts

A little over a year later, on the afternoon of April 26th 1954 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, another circular object was witnessed during the day. [9] According to the NICAP report, somewhere between 3 and 4 pm on the day in question, architect, Russell M Peire was talking with two friends near a local high school when a “very deep roar” like that of “many motors” caught their attention.

The sound was clearly coming from overhead and appeared to “accelerate” before fading out as quickly as it had appeared. The three people instantly turned their attention skyward, with Peirce immediately focusing in on a round object overhead. From his perspective, the object appeared as though it was out over the water, which was around four miles from their location. He would elaborate that the strange craft was distinctly round and “appeared as a flaming ring” which was white in the middle with an orange-red color around the edges, similar to the “common flame of burning wood”, with the size of the object being similar to that of a full moon in the sky as witnessed from the ground.

It appeared as though the object was descending toward the ground in an arc before it began to “skid around” in the sky. Peirce had the impression that it was changing direction as the next thing it did was shoot straight upward, disappearing from sight within seconds. As it increased its speed, it appeared to change color, going from “that of a ring and internal concentric disc to a solid silvery colored disc”. This detail is one that shows up in many UFO reports, with the color and appearance of the respective objects seemingly dictated by its speed and movement. As it disappeared, the sound that had caught their attention in the first place also faded away. In total, the sighting lasted around 20 seconds before the mysterious craft had disappeared.

Interestingly, in the hours that followed the sighting, several people contacted Pierce, including his own daughter, to inform him that although they didn’t see the object, they all heard the loud sound from a considerable distance away. We might assume that numerous other people also heard this.

“Flying Saucer” Hovers Only Yards Above Two Girls On A Lonely Road

According to an article in the June 13th 1954 edition of the Sunday Telegraph, two teenage girls – 16-year-old Janette Brown and 13-year-old Jeanette Johnston – were left terrified after witnessing an otherworldly object in the Dandenong suburb of Melbourne, Australia. [10] On the evening of June 6th, at around 6 pm, the two girls were walking along a quiet road when a “flying saucer” seemingly appeared out of nowhere and “hovered less than 20 yards above their heads”.

Janette Brown would tell the newspaper that she noticed the object first, stating that she “heard a loud drumming noise” that sounded similar to a motorcycle. She turned her attention toward the noise and immediately noticed a “large dark shape” hovering over the top of a partly built factory. She continued that she began to flash her torch in its direction. As soon as she did so, the object moved directly toward the two girls. At the same time, three lights appeared on the craft, one on the top and two on the underside.

At this point, a surge of fear went through her, causing her to drop to the ground in fright. She would elaborate that the experience was “terribly weird and fascinating” despite the fear she felt. In fact, she was so scared that she felt unable to move.

The object eventually came to a stop directly over the top of the factory gate, “as if it deliberately wanted to look at it”. She would further describe the object as being “cylindrical” in shape and approximately 30 feet long and 15 feet high. She also described a “cano[ppy and window on top and a window on each end”.

Even more amazing, she would continue that it was so close that she could “even see how it worked”. She would offer that the “under-carriage consisted of three wheels which were half turning and making a low clicking sound”.

At this point, the two girls also noticed a car coming up the road in their direction which appeared to prompt the object to retreat somewhat, taking cover near a nearby caretaker’s house. Once more, we have an example of the intelligence behind the object being aware of other witnesses and taking action to conceal themselves from them.

It was at this stage that the younger girl, Jeanette, walked to where Janette was, with the older girl telling her to keep her eyes on the house where the object had retreated. The younger girl would later state that she eventually saw a “silvery-colored cylinder” rise into the air directly above the property. She recalled that the object “hovered for about two minutes” before it “swept away in a wide circle to another factory a few hundred yards away”. It remained there for around 60 seconds, the bright lights on the underside fading away leaving the single light on top. Then, it spun around and disappeared behind a nearby tree.

Needless to say, the two girls remained terrified after the encounter, with Janette’s mother offering that neither of them wished to venture outside after dark, while both girls had trouble sleeping for several weeks after. In fact, Janette was so disturbed by the incident that she even asked her mother if they could move to another suburb.

Around the same time as the above encounter, another UFO incident unfolded in Australia, and it is to that encounter that we will turn our attention to next.

Glowing Object With Humanoid Figures

Although the exact date is uncertain, at some time in June 1954 in East Malvern and Carnegie, several local residents witnessed a saucer-shaped object with several humanoid figures inside. [11] According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, at around half past midnight on the evening in question, 18-year-old David Reese was biding friends farewell when he heard a sudden strange noise that sounded “like the dial tone in a telephone”.

When he turned his attention to where the noise was coming from, he was shocked to see “an oval-shaped object about the size of a railway carriage” that was traveling “in a curved arc from north to south”. The witness recalled that the curious craft was moving at a “fantastic speed” yet, at the same time, also appeared to be “moving slowly, as if time and speed had become distorted”.

Reese would continue that the object “gave out a weird orange light” as it moved. However, strangest of all, as the craft came nearer, he could see “vague shapes that looked like human busts”. He elaborated that the object’s exterior appeared to be “made of glass” and that while he could “see into it” he couldn’t see “entirely through it”. Then, as he looked on in awe he saw a “yellow vapor or flame” come from the object before it “accelerated” and disappeared in a matter of seconds.

Further Witnesses Offer Corroborating Details To A Discreetly Credible Sighting

Another witness to the events was an Australian Broadcasting Commission, Christopher Muir, who claimed that until the incident in question, he had always been “skeptical about flying saucers” but had since changed his mind somewhat.

He offered that it was around 50 yards from where he was standing and around 50 to 60 feet from the ground. He also stated that the mysterious vehicle was there one minute and then gone the next. He also corroborated the detail of yellow flames coming from the sides and underside of the object. Perhaps most importantly, though, was the detail that he could see “through what looked like portholes or windows reflections of some sort which resembles people”.

He would further state that he had “seen our fastest planes but this thing moved with incredible speed”, adding that, “if it was a flying saucer from another planet we’ll need faster planes if we ever have to fight” whatever intelligence was behind them.

Other witnesses also offered corroborating details of the sighting. An anonymous clerk offered that they could see “people vaguely shadowed in the strange light the machine emitted” and that “a yellow flame spurted from the back like a Buck Rogers rocket ship”. Yet another witness, a technician from the Postal Department stated that they saw “yellowish flames coming from an object that was shaped “a cross between an egg and a plate”.

A female schoolteacher stated that she witnessed a “pear-shaped” object that had a “beam of light extending from the blunt end”, adding that it was “traveling low and fast”. A police officer who was returning home from his night shift claimed he saw “an oval-shaped machine” that “sped from the sky and hovered low”, approximately 60 feet from the ground. He also stated that “flames were shooting from it” and that he could see “shadows of some people” inside the object.

Whatever the object might have been remains a mystery, but given the wealth of witnesses and matching details, the sighting is perhaps one of the most credible on record.

The Cherry Valley Sighting

Around four months later in October 1954, on the other side of the planet in Cherry Valley, New York, a similar object was witnessed by a Yale University graduate. [12] On the afternoon inn question, at around 4 pm, Major A B Cox, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an Assistant Director of NICAP, was at home looking toward his farm buildings. In a letter to UFO investigator and researcher, Richard Hall, the following year, Cox offered that he was an “airplane spotter” and so spent considerable time studying the skies.

However, on this occasion, he witnessed something far different from an airplane. He stated that he spotted something hovering at a relatively low altitude near the farm buildings. To begin with, he believed he was looking at a low-flying aircraft. However, the longer he looked at the object, the more he realized he was looking at something a little more out of the ordinary, not least as the object – whatever it was – was moving much too slowly for an airplane and it did so in complete silence. Even stranger, he couldn’t see any “wings, tail, or fuselage”.

He elaborated that the object appeared to be “a large disc or lens-shaped object” that he estimated to be around “30 to 35 feet in diameter”. He described the object as “moving like a wheel sliding sidewise and not rotating”. The object moved in his direction, eventually passing over him, allowing him to make out much more detail. He could see, for example, that the object was a grey color that was darker around the edges.

Then, without warning, it came to a sudden stop, which, as an engineer, intrigued Cox more than anything else, not least as an object as large as this one was should not have been able to stop so suddenly, nor should it have been able to remain motionless without any visible means of propulsion.

As he continued to watch, the object began to ascend, seeming to do so in right-angled motions. As it moved upwards, it momentarily disappeared into a bank of clouds before appearing again. After several more seconds, it entered another cloud formation, this time disappearing from sight.

Strange Object “Investigating” Trees In Nashville, Tennessee

Although the exact date is not known, at some point in 1956, two 11-year-old boys witnessed a bizarre and curious object in Nashville, Tennessee in the middle of the day. [13] It was around noon on the day in question when the two boys were playing in a field near an empty alleyway when they both heard a “strange metallic sound”. The witness would later describe this sound as a key being tapped on the bottom of a half-full soda can. The boys turned their attention to where the sound was coming from and noticed a strange object hovering motionless above some nearby trees.

They recalled that the object was a “dull light silver color” and was approximately 20 to 25 feet across. Although they couldn’t see it clearly, the two boys had the impression that a blue, glowing light was present at the back of the object (or at least the side that was facing away from them) as it cast a blue glow beneath it.

On the underside of the object was what appeared to be strange writing that reminded the witness of Chinese letters. Even stranger, a long silver tube extended from the underside of the object down toward the trees and appeared to be investigating them, perhaps even sucking up samples. This is an interesting detail as a great many UFO encounters offer details of the craft, or their occupants investigating vegetation or soil samples, which could very well have been the case here. As the two boys watched, the object appeared to investigate each tree before moving on to the next one.

Aside from the metallic sound the craft was completely silent, almost unnaturally so. The two boys continued to watch the object for several minutes before they suddenly grew scared at the surreal nature of the events unfolding in front of them. In fact, they became so unnerved that they each turned and ran home.

Although they had no idea what the object was or what it was doing, they realized that they were watching something extraordinary and out of the norm.

Pilot Captures Image Of Glowing Object Above The Clouds

In the same year as the above sighting, on the evening of August 27th, 1956, two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots not only witnessed a strange disc-shaped object while flying in a formation of four F86 Sabre jets near McCleod in Alberta, Canada, but managed to capture a photograph of it. [14]

According to the report, the planes were flying near the Canadian Rockies at an altitude of around 36,000 feet just before sunset when one of the pilots suddenly noticed a “bright light which was sharply defined and disc-shaped”. He would elaborate that the object looked very much like a “shiny silver dollar”.

The object was below the jets but above a bank of clouds and appeared to be glowing or reflecting the last of the evening sun. The pilot reported what he was seeing to the flight leader before reaching for his camera and snapping a picture of the aerial anomaly, which you can see below.

The photograph was analyzed by several experts, including Dr. Bruce Maccabee, who offered that the image was not the result of sunlight reflecting from the clouds or any other visual anomaly. In total, the object remained visible for between one to three minutes before disappearing. The sighting, despite the apparent photographic evidence, remains unexplained.

The Fairbanks Incident

Over a period of around four and five hours, between 2 am and 7 am one night in January or February 1958, United States Air Force CGA radar air traffic controller, Gerald Flood was witness to bizarre events at Eilson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. [15] It was around 2 am when Flood first noticed an anomalous object on his radar – and he immediately knew that whatever this target was, it wasn’t conventional aircraft. This bizarre target could make instant 90-degree turns and did so while traveling at a blistering 5000 miles per hour.

He immediately called attention to his work colleagues, who witnessed the stunning radar returns also. They began contacting other nearby military bases and radar controls. Each of them stated that they too had the strange object on their radars, and each of them was tracking it.

The respective crews continued to monitor the object as it performed numerous turns on their screens. Eventually, a search helicopter and a T33 were dispatched to obtain visual confirmation of the anomalous craft. They would report that they witnessed a bizarre ice cloud (caused by a temperature inversion). Of course, what the connection between this aerial anomaly and the strange object on the radar screens might be, some researchers have suggested that UFOs use clouds, and often create them, in order to hide within them.

Ultimately, the radar operators were all made to write up full reports of the incident before being warned to “shut up and discuss (it) any further”.

The UFO Sighting Of Ivan T. Sanderson

Although there is little detail to the actual encounter by comparison to other sightings we have examined here, a sighting by famed zoologist, Ivan T. Sanderson is worth mentioning here. [16] According to the account, at around 5 pm on October 2nd, 1958, Sanderson noticed a strange disc-shaped object moving around in a bizarre manning over the Delaware Water Gap.

Sanderson described the object as being flat on the top and bottom, sometimes (as it moved) appearing more circular or oval-shaped. During the course of the sighting, the object vanished but reappeared a short time later.

Needless to say, the zoologist was in awe as he watched the display. Below you can a sketch of the object, and its movements as seen from Sanderson’s perspective.

The Grand Buech River Valley Incident

Later that month on the evening of October 28th, 1958, on the other side of the Atlantic in the Grand Beuch River Valley in France, a local resident witnessed a similar disc-shaped craft while driving home. [17] On the night in question, at just before 8 pm, Jean Boyer was approaching the Pont-la-Dame area when he saw a “luminous disc” hovering over the valley of the Grand Buech River. He immediately brought his car to a stop and exited the vehicle.

He would later recall that the object “resembled two plates glued together” and was approximately 600 to 1200 feet above the ground and around 1200 feet from his location. He watched the bizarre object for around two to three minutes, noting how swayed from left to right in the air. As neared the object, walking to where he was almost directly underneath it, he could see that is was made of a “perfect circle” with a second circle inside it.

He eventually turned and headed back to his vehicle. As he was almost there, though,  red sparks began to suddenly fly from it as it rose into the air at “dizzying speed”. As it ascended, it left a “fiery trail” behind it which then turned to a “faint glow” before vanishing from sight. Furthermore, as it rose into the air, Boyter could feel a “current of air that rocked” the car.

Coincidentally or not, the in the Grand Beuch River Valley occurred only two days after the very similar encounter over the Loch Raven Dam in Baltimore in the United States, a sighting, incidentally, that received little attention at the time and so was almost certainly not known about outside of the few witnesses much less anyone in France. Although there were similar descriptions and details, however, it is interesting to note, as Jaques Vallee pointed out in his report of the case, that the object in France made no noise when rising into the air, and that the witness experienced no interference with his car.

Close Approach By UFO Witnessed By Two Police Officers In New Jersey

Just before 1 am in the early hours of December 20th, 1958 in Dunellen, New Jersey, police officers, LeRoy Arboreen and B Talada were on patrol when viewed a bizarre object in the night sky. [18]

In a report made by Arboreen to NICAP, as they were driving along the street an unknown object headed in their direction out of the west. He further described the object as looking “like a piece of coal” as it glowed a bright red and moved across the sky.

They continued to watch the strange object, noticing that it pulsated as it moved. It then came to a temporary stop for several seconds before it made a sudden turn. A second or two later it came to another stop. Then, after several seconds, it shot straight up into the air and disappeared into the dark sky overhead.

Although they were not certain of what they had seen, they realized it was something truly unusual. It wasn’t, for example, a meteor, and it certainly wasn’t a conventional aircraft.

UFO Descends Over Walworth, Wisconsin

During the early evening of January 8th, 1959, at around 5:15 pm near Walworth in Wisconsin, Gordon Higgins was driving along the road when he noticed a strange object descending out of the sky. [19] Immediately fascinated by what he was seeing, Higgins brought his car to a stop so as to get a better look.

As the object got closer it began to glow brighter and brighter, and Higgins could tell it was a disc or saucer shape. It eventually came to a stop and hovered for several moments before shooting off into the distance with alarming speed. As it moved, it changed color from bright white to orange.

Although Higgins continued to watch the object as it made its way into the distance, he was unable to tell if the object disappeared into the distance or if it “disintegrated”.

You can see a sketched diagram of the incident below.

Whatever They Were, People Were Seeing Something!

As we can see, then, there are many other lesser-known but no less thought-provoking UFO encounters from the start of the Modern UFO Era, a time when news traveled much slower meaning we can, for the most part, dismiss any “cross-contamination” sightings that are sometimes the result of a person seeing a previous report whose details might then seep into his own memory.

In fact, it is interesting to note some of the similar details in these 1950s sightings. The objects, for example, were often disc-shaped and usually silent. And for the cases that declared such objects as cigar-shaped or oval, we might ask whether these slight discrepancies were the result of the object being observed from a different angle. Similarly, the sightings that mentioned varying sounds, as opposed to those that stated these strange objects were silent, could be explained as them simply having been witnessed from closer proximity.

What is surely certain is that many people around the world certainly witnessed something in the skies of the planet during this time.

The video below examines some of the most interesting UFO sightings in history.


1 Cylindrical UFO Photographed Over New York City, UFO Evidence
2 UFO sighting by pilots Adams and Anderson, FLYING Magazine, July 1950
3 Airline pilots observe fast-moving, disc-shaped UFO over Arkansas, UFO Evidence
4 The Bethune/Gandor Air Encounter, UFO Evidence
5 Several groups of UFOs fly over witnesses in Flint, Michigan, UFO Evidence
6 Amazing Korean War UFO Report From Candian Naval Commander, Rense
7 Puerto Maldonado Photograph (Cigar-shaped object with trail photographed in Argentina), UFO Evidence
8 Round, Metallic Object near Livermore, California, UFO Evidence
9 Circular Object, Appearing as a Flaming Ring, Seen by Architect, UFO Evidence
10 Teenage Girls See Saucer, UFO Evidence
11 Human Figures Seen In Saucer, UFO Evidence
12 Engineer observes lens-shaped disc in New York, UFO Evidence
13 Low hovering cylinder-shaped UFO with tube seen in Nashville, TN, 1956, UFO Evidence
14 Canadian military pilots see and photograph UFO, UFO Evidence
15 Object tracked on multiple radar flying at 5,000+ MPH, UFO Evidence
16 Sighting by Zoologist and UFO Researcher Ivan T. Sanderson, UFO Evidence
17 Huge disk hovers over bridge in the Grand Beuch River Valley, France, 1958, UFO Evidence
18 Two patrolmen see glowing red UFO in New Jersey, UFO Evidence
19 UFO descends, then speeds away, near Walworth, Wisconsin, UFO Evidence

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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